horror

Closet Treats


Reality is a slippery slope for Trey Leger, but he's managed to carve out a somewhat normal existence in spite of his mental illness.  But when an ice cream truck starts making the rounds of his neighborhood, Trey can no longer tell reality from his delusions.

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Episode 01
Episode 02
Episode 03
Episode 04
Episode 05
Episode 06
Episode 07
Episode 08
 
Episode 09
Episode 10
Episode 11
Episode 12
Episode 13
Episode 14
Episode 15
Episode 16
Episode 17
Q&A Episode

The Fiendmaster on the Hollywood Outsider

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The folks at The Hollywood Outsider made the mistake of inviting me on their show to discuss horror movies and the industry. Also, monster mash!

Review--Sinister

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Quick review of the film "Sinister". Music by Kevin Mcleod.

 

This presentation is copyright 2013 by Paul Elard Cooley.

 

Visit shadowpublications.com for more free stories as well as my rant casts.

 

    Contact me at:

 

        * stories@shadowpublications.com

        * twitter: http://twitter.com/paul_e_cooley

        * facebook: http://facebook.com/paul.e.cooley

 

           

 

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

 

 

The Thing--the prequel and the Carpenter version

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There are movies that stick with me. They crawled into my imagination because of the way the story is told, the character interaction, the actor performances, and great direction. They refuse to leave my memory because they have left an indelible mark on my psyche. John Carpenter's "The Thing" is one of those films.

It's been nearly 30 years since the original tromped through the movie theatres and I don't remember a single trailer for the film. I didn't see it in the theatre when it came out either. It was years later when the flick hit VHS that I destroyed my eyeballs with it.

What did I love about the film? Years later, it's the grime, the dirt, the unpolished appearance of some otherwise handsome actors. In today's hollywood, it's nearly impossible to make a film without some serious beefcake characters. Carpenter's original went entirely a different way.

Walter Brimley? Was that guy ever young? And Kurt Russell? In this film his beard is so thick you can hardly see the action star that paraded into the late 80s and the 90s as a cinematic badass and heartthrob. The rest of the actors? Just meat-sticks seen in other b-movies with careers that went no-where.

Carpenter gave us a film that was sparse, completely contained in a few scenes of the Norwegian mountains and a ramshackle structure the characters lived in. It was claustrophobic, paranoid, and the characters were at each others' throats seemingly before the nastier parts of the story even started.
Wait. I've been babbling about this film for minutes and haven't even discussed what the fuck it's about.

Well, I guess that's because I just saw the quote unquote prequel. The Thing. The tagline fro the new film? "It's not human...yet."

Those of us who've seen Carpenter's film knew how the prequel would end. Well, how it would end if the director wasn't a complete tool, that is. Fortunately, the prequel did end properly. Again, I digress.

The 2011 "The Thing" starts out in Antarctica at a Norwegian science outpost. As one might expect, it's filled with geologists, climatologists, and the typical support type characters. When you're going to spend 6 months cut off from the rest of the world, you have to have guys who are mechanics, engineers, and etc. Without a furnace in working order, everyone's going to freeze to death. So you might expect the support personnel to be numerous, but the prequel is so full of these support folks that you'd think these guys are going to war.

Regardless, the scientists, while doing their normal rounds, discover a signal coming from under the ice. Their investigation leads to them falling through the ice and discovering a quote unquote structure beneath. A structure that's been buried for over 100k years.

A Norwegian biologist then recruits an american paleontologist to join the expedition in Antarctica. This all happens very fast and is a little abrupt, but at the same time, I barely noticed.

As expected, once they reach the outpost, shit gets strange fast. They uncover not only a crash landed space craft, they find something that escaped the ship only to become buried in the ice.

Even if you haven't seen the original and don't know the story, the idea of folks cutting some frozen creature out of the ice and then examining it should make you shudder. In a film called "The Thing", it can't end well. Rest assured, it doesn't.

Instead of Kurt Russell who is the protagonist in the Carpenter version, we get the female paleontologist. Instead of being the typical scream queen type, she shows some serious cajones. Once she's forced into not only admitting that shit is totally fucked up and bad things are getting ready to happen, she takes control pretty fast.

The rest of the film is filled with paranoia, some pretty nightmarish effects, and claustrophobia.

Unfortunately, the prequel doesn't quite capture the same tension as the Carpenter version. The first movie pitted an all male cast against one another and took a little longer for them to figure out what the fuck was going on. The prequel almost rushes to get things going, rather than spending the time to build up the mystery of what's going to happen. I think the director made a bad choice here, even if most folks already know what's coming. We didn't get a chance to get any sense of who these characters were and what they did at the outpost.

The way Carpenter told his tale, we had tiny slices of what each character did for the camp and what their vocation was. I think this is one of the aspects that made the 83 version so much better.

That's one strike against the prequel. Yet, the director didn't really give us a chance to worry about that. Instead, the fuck-uppedness begins in earnest and at a million miles an hour. Once the creature is loosed from its icy prison, the movie takes off like most action movies: gunshots, blood, and fire. From this standpoint, the movie doesn't disappoint.

Instead of the movie being filled with jump-scares, as I had feared, the film builds tension and then refuses to break it until you see something from a distance that makes your stomach churn in horror. I'm not a fan of cheap jump-scares and I kept expecting them. But they just didn't happen. It was a good thing.

I won't go into any spoilers here, but I will say this: I was left wondering how the movie would end so that it dovetailed with the Carpenter version. In fact, I spent a good part of the last 1/3 of the flick trying to figure out how the director was going to do it.

It was done pretty well. There are couple of plot-holes that don't match up with the Carpenter version, but the moment Carpenter's score from The Thing started playing, I knew the dovetail was not only going to happen, but happen in the right manner.

If you're a fan of the Carpenter version, you'll remember the trip Mcready and Blair make to the Norwegian outpost. You'll also remember the burned up Thing they brought back to their camp. The director made sure that scene isn't only possible, but inevitable. Again, it was a good job.

I have seen the Carpenter version countless times because of its tension, the dialogue between the characters, and the way in which the story is told. The disgusting practical effects of the first film were absolutely integral to the horror. The prequel does it with a mix of practical and CGI effects, but manages the same level of terror. What it didn't have was the same feeling of tension, but that could be because Carpenter did such a great job, or I simply can't remove myself from thinking the original was so much better.

I recommend seeing the prequel, and then seeing the Carpenter version back to back. I think you'll find it a fantastic double feature for your eyeballs and the part of your brain that loves to be terrified. Just make sure you're not eating spaghetti and eyeballs, I mean meatballs, while you do.
 

Guest Blog Post at the Dead Robots' Society

The Dead Robots' Society invited me to post a guest blog. I have done so. They allowed me to spew my narcissim and I appreciate it. Go check it out!

Flying Island Press: Abattoir magazine

 Flying Island Press has started a new imprint:  "Abattoir."  Abattoir is an e-zine focusing on psychological horror.  I was asked to contribute for the first "issue" and therefore sent them my essay "On Psychological Horror."  This essay was originally podcasted near the beginning of the Shadowpublications.com reboot period, but I thought you fiendlings might like to go read the original.

Please help Scott Roche and crew get Abattoir off to a good start-- go visit, leave comments, and read what the other contributors have to offer. With so few good horror outlets out there, it's important we support this one.

 

Cheers.

Review--Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2"

I must apologize in advance.  This review is filled with the "f" bomb.  When I mean filled, I mean chock full.  This is rated Not Safe For Work or "Liable to Destroy Your Speakers" (LDYS).

 

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Closet Treats--First Stab At Cover Art

Because I'm a truly terrible person, I'm going to tease you with the first stab at the cover art for my new novel, Closet Treats.  It's still in production, but the first draft is close to being finished.  I'm think I'm still on target for a January release.  Going to be bloody, nasty, and disturbing.  What else would expect from the FiendMaster?

 

Couch Surfing with John Pavlich Part 2

Here it is, folks.  Part 2 of the Couch Surfing podcast I did with John Pavlich.  Thanks again, John, for having me on.

Couch Surfing with John Pavlich

For your friday pleasure, I'm including the link to the Sofa Dogs podcast.  John Pavlich and I babbled incessantly about horror movies, both good and bad, discussed the nature of horror, the definitions of "torture porn" and all things Halloweeny.  It's a long cast, folks.  Enjoy!

Thanks so much, John, for having me on the show!

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Essay: The Nature of Psychological Horror

Just a quick self-indulgent babble about my feelings on the nature of horror. Go ahead and download now.

The Graveyard

Donations to Shadowpublications.com may result in your DEATH!

 

 

Characters/Fiends

The following persons have become fiends or characters in one of the stories by donating to ShadowPublications.com:
  • Frank Pons Matal (he goes by Pons, dammit)
  • Dick Dickerson (yes, he's a DICK!) (Closet Trests)
  • Trey Broussard (Closet Treats)
  • Scott E Pond (Deep Fried)
  • Chris Bowsman (Deep Fried)
  • Arioch Morningstar (Deep Fried)
  • Troy Tanzer (Deep Fried)
  • Anthony Epp (@beanchef) (Deep Fried)
  • John Archer (as Jared Archer) (The Rider)
  • Rob Stikmanz (The Rider)
  • Emyliza Aninzo Wong (Flames)
  • Thomas Novak (Flames)
  • Jenny Melzer (Flames)
  • Don Hardy (Flames)
  • Amanda Sulzbach (Coven)
  • Nicole Bubear (Coven)
  • John Vizcarra (Igloch)
  • Linton Bowers (Igloch)
  • Stephanie Harvey (Igloch)  
  • Bryan James (igloch)
  • Michael Wilet (Igloch)
  •  

 

The Dead

Paul Elard Cooley and The FiendMaster have killed the following people in Tattoo for donating money to ShadowPublications.com:
  • Thomas Reed
  • Ron Williams

Future Characters or Future Dead

Paul Elard Cooley will include the following people as characters/victims in future stories for their donations to ShadowPublications.com
  • Joseph Cartwright (I AM) (fc)
  • Melanie Hoyt (Lark Neville) (fc)
  • James Webb (fc)
  • Brent Caudle
  • Shirley Bruce (fc)
  • Hazel Wachtman (ncsebm)
  • Jeanine Carbonaro (T9)
  • Sam Dickerson (T9)
  • Skye Wachtman
  • Nathaniel Hartman (nca)
  • Tia Brink (T9)
  • David Sobkowiak (nczSEA)
  • Neil Illing (NCSEO)
  • Shannon Moore  (T9)
  • James Monroig (NCC)
  • Stephane Dumothier (T9)
  • Laura Church (T9)
  • Mildred Cady (T9)
  • Jay Hollngsworth (NCV)
  • Richard Green (T9)
  • Andrew Richardson
  • Mike Beaudry (NCVSE)
  • Richard Mathis (T9)
  • Allyson Burry (t9)
  • John Mierau (T9)
  • Damon Henrichs (T9)
  • Kate Cheevers (phantomreverie) (GCW)
  • Tracy Kawamura (exotikali) (GCW)
  • Jarrod Young (T9)
  • Clay Dugger (NCC)

Fiends--Tattoo-Episode 4

Tattoo Episode 4. The intro contains information about the Scott Sigler Tailgate Tour. Infocast to come later... Links:

  1. Scott Mofo Sigler
  2. Lark Neville Interviews me

Fiends--Tattoo-Episode 3

You bitched. You complained. You cajoled. You demanded. And the FiendMaster made me do it. So here it is, you bitches. Episode 3.

Fiends--Tattoo-Episode 2

And...here's episode 2. Many of you have been pestering me on twitter and facebook as to when this episode was going to drop. Therefore, because I am a kind and merciful FiendMaster (yeah, right) I'm dropping it a day early. In addition, you'll get some more content this week. Don't you love me? Enjoy...

Rant--The Death Of Childhood

A long time ago, in a suburb far far away, there was an elementary school called Greenwood Forest Elementary. It served children between kindergarten and 5th grade with great teachers, horrid bullies, and spoiled children. Well, I was spoiled. So were a lot of my classmates. Trust me, you know who you are.

In this suburb that seems so far away to me now, I remember the bell would ring in the late afternoon and all of us tykes, in all our different age groups, would practically run through the playground's various metal webs, bars, barrels, and contraptions, through the copse of too tall pines, and to that mystical van covered with pictures of various ice cream bars, sandwiches and tasty candy treats.

Garaaga's Children

A dark entity exists in the world named "Garaaga." Its children and worshippers haunt our world, in the past as well as the present. While the world moves on toward extinguishing all superstition, a true evil slowly spreads.

Horror Creature BBQ? Fresh Sushi?

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Okay, so I have to write this. Richard Cartwright on twitter wondered aloud if a certain creature from Scott Sigler's Ancestor would BBQ well. This got me to thinking: what horror movie monsters would be the most fun to consume? What would be the worst? In no particular order, here's my take.

Garaaga's Children--The Things I Do For Love

Little one. I feel you in my belly now, swimming inside me, kicking and moving. I feel you, and you make me smile.

Can you hear me, little one? I wonder. As my belly swells with you, I am thankful to Garaaga for his blessing. I thank him daily. And I thank your father, little one.

Would you like to hear about your father? I cannot help but envision his face. All lines and angles. A handsome man was your father, little one--handsome, but not beautiful, not cute.

I met him at one of the clubs where men go to find sex and women go to find love, if only for one night. There are some, little one, so lonely in their lives, so lost without others, that they wish to find comfort in anything. Some find it in anonymous sex, some in the liquid gold of whiskey or heroin. But your father, little one, was not one of those.

A woman's tale of how she met her unborn son's father. Don't expect a Walton family ending...

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